With Johnson Elementary in Final Stage of Work, SBA Makes Visit this Week to See Project's Progression

By Jeff Toquinto on August 10, 2018 via

The new Johnson Elementary School that will officially open next week comes with a pretty hefty price tag in the $17 million range. The biggest portion of those funds were provided by the West Virginia School Building Authority.
Back on Dec. 14, 2015, the SBA approved $10,678,000 for the project among several projects awarded funding that day. The money provided to the Harrison County School system was the largest given out that day.
Fast forward more than two and a half years later and the school is getting its finishing touches. And on Tuesday, the SBA joined local officials to see just how the project was coming along.
“The bulk of the funding for this came through the State of West Virginia by way of the School Building Authority,” said Harrison County School Superintendent Dr. Mark Manchin, who was on hand Tuesday and is also a former SBA director. “They wanted to come up and take a look at the project and take a tour to see if they money they’ve invested, the taxpayers of West Virginia have invested, has been invested in a wise manner.”
As it turns out, the SBA was impressed by the work on the two-story, 65,000 square foot structure. Ben Ashley liked what he saw during the tour that took roughly one hour earlier this week.
“It’s great,” said Ashley, the SBA’s director of architectural services, just after taking the tour. “On behalf of the great State of West Virginia it was an honor to be welcomed here by Dr. Manchin and his staff and be able to see this building as it’s about to open.
“It was a proud investment for the SBA to make in this county and this city, in particular,” Ashley continued. “We’re just excited to see it come to life and excited this building gets to welcome students next week.”
Manchin was joined by members of the central office, Johnson Elementary, Contractor City Construction, Architect McKinley & Associates and others. The group departed from the building with smiles on their faces.
“They were incredibly impressed with the whole physical plant from the colors, the building itself, the design and everything involved,” said Manchin.
Manchin, who said when the project began and City Construction took the job that it would be done on time, appears to be prophetic in that confidence. He reiterated that the building will be open when school starts next week.
“There’s nothing that leads us to believe we won’t be ready,” said Manchin. “ … It’s amazing how things come together even though (the contractor) may be walking out the back door while we’re walking into the front door, but it will be ready. The parents, teachers and certainly the students of this attendance area will be pleased with what they see.”
Editor's Note: Top photo shows Dr. Mark Manchin, second from right, with various officials, including the SBA's Ben Ashley, second from left, earlier this week at a tour of the new Johnson Elementary. Second photo shows the new Johnson Elementary signage on the main entrance to the school, while contractors do some finishing touches on roof work in the bottom photo.

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